Friday, February 3, 2012

It takes quite a man

To take a child that isn't his flesh and blood, and give him your last name.

Even if that is all you do, that's quite a lot.

RIP Randy. You were obviously loved by so very many. Thanks for giving Gerrod your name.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I couldn't post last night

We recieved some very sad news. Gerrod's dad, Randy Andresen, had a heart attack and died yesterday.

I am still in shock, poor Gerrod. Just loosing his mom such a short time ago was hard enough, but this now is just so hard.

I saw a boom truck in town yesterday (Gerrod's dad owned as sign company and did work all around here at times) and I looked to see if it was his.

And I thought. What's going to happen to the business when Randy passes? None of the boys will want it.

And then I thought, I need to call them. I need to get a relationship between him and the kids. They should know him.

And he died.

Don't hold back folks. Make those calls, make the effort, and do it now.

Before you are shocked into the what ifs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two years ago

I survived a horrible wreck. I can't get the pictures to upload right this second, but I will try.

By all accounts, I should not have.

Take a minute today to love and hug the people you surround yourself with.

Wear your seatbelt.

Get your airbags checked (mine did not go off)

Become an organ donor.

And thank God for every day you are here!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Birthday


It's my birthday! I can't believe it! It amazes me every year! I do not feel as old as I am, not even by a long shot! I really do still feel like a teenager (well, mentally, physically, not as much)

I have had a great day, and a great weekend! Thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday, and the nice presents, and cards, and visitors!

What a nice nice day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Sunday

I need to get ready for church.

Sarah is going with us! She's pretty awesome.

Well, so is Chris.

They brought wonderful gifts for the kids for Christmas yesterday.

They just are amazing.

My kids are so lucky to have them in their lives. Not the presents or anything like that, but


They play with them, laugh at them, cuddle them, just love them.

They are really Aunt Sarah and Uncle Chris

And my kids are very blessed for that!!

So far

So behind.

But having a great time with Chris and Sarah!!

We went bowling yesterday! WOW!


But we had SOOOOO much fun!

TY used the force

Spencer did this dance kinda thing, also a "pray to ALLAH" roll.

Olivia just hoped for the best.

But it was an absolute riot!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday night

YAY for Friday night!!!

It's a nice weekend. Sarah is here (and Chris too) I am so so so happy!

We're going to have sooo much fun!!!

That's all for now!!

This should say THURSDAY!!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why oh why oh why?

Ok, former English Teacher moment here.

If anyone else has taught English, or taken English (so, pretty much everyone) what was your LEAST favorite part?

I bet I can guess what 99.9% said.


Yeah, all those nouns, verbs, gerunds, diagraming

Even the hip folks at School House Rock couldn't make it cool, minus Conjunctions

Conjunction, Junction, what's your Function?

Anyway, I digress.

So I have been sitting here tonight, for, oh, about 3.5 hours, making lesson plans for



Oh, how I have NOT missed thee, I shall not count the ways.

And I still have a LOT more to do.


My girls better LOVE me when this is all done!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I am no stranger to pain.
child rearing (haha)
car accident

I could go on and on, but tonight, it doesn't seem right.

Cole Deickman, a newly turned five year old boy from Joy, IL passed away this morning from an ugly, hard fought battle with cancer.

Five years old. FIVE.

He turned five last Monday, and now he is gone.

I didn't know Cole, just knew lots of people here who knew him. Heard lots of great stories, great memories, about a sweet little boy. How hard he fought and how brave he was.

And he doesn't have to fight anymore.

He runs free, can laugh and play and love and just be.
He needs no medicine, no hospitals.

He is home.

I can NOT begin to even understand the pain his family must be feeling. To even begin to know the heartache they feel. The loss, the sadness, everything that goes along with it.

But to know that Cole is free. In Heaven, at home. No pain, no suffering, nothing but happiness, and love. To be a new, whole person. To be an angel. I surely hope that this can comfort them while they mourn the loss of their precious and wonderful little boy.

Walk with the Angels, Cole. Know that here on Earth, so very very very many people loved you, even those of us who did not know you. You will be missed, and you will be mourned, but there will be a time when your family from Earth will be with you in Heaven. And that will also be a wonderful day. Much like the day you were born!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's 9 PM. Where is your DH?


No seriously, mine is passed out on the loveseat.
He works so darn hard, and is so tired. I appreciate all that he does for us. I am so proud of him, and all that he does to make us so happy.

Today, we went to have lunch with my great Aunts and great uncle. Then the kids and I got pants for the kids, and then went to Toys R Us to get some things (for free! Gotta love R Us rewards)

And Gerrod worked his tail off so we could go and do all those things.

My kids are making really great memories and having a wonderful childhood, and I get to be a big part of it. I am so lucky. Gerrod has made that possible.

So here is to my exhausted, sweet, and snoring (and if you read this Gerrod, yes you are) husband. I love you so very much. Thanks for doing all that you do.

And now, I am putting him into bed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An amazing little boy

has found his wings today.

I have read Courtney's blog forever now, and prayed for little Tripp. He's been such an amazing gift to everyone who has met him IRL or come across his mama's blog.

Tripp is now running free, and happy, able to talk and sing, and do all the things that his little body here on earth couldn't. He is an angel, with God, and walking with Jesus.

I know his mama hurts. I know after three years of holding him in her arms 24/7, I can't imagine how lost she must feel. How empty her arms are.

But I can imagine, as I have read her blog for so long, that her heart is incredibly full. Her little boy, her life, has went home. Has no more earthly suffering. Has made a wonderful and incredible journey to where he belongs.

Courtney, I know you will never read this. I don't know you IRL. But I want you to feel the thoughts and prayers that have come from me. That you are such an inspiration to Mommy's everywhere. I can't imagine that you have comfort now, but in the days and weeks to come, I am hoping for you to start to feel some comfort. I pray for you to remember and relish in the joy that you have from the memories of your precious little boy.

And thank you for sharing him with us.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Phase 10

Thanks again to the Warren family for a fun night of good food and games.

Phase 10 has been one of my favorite card games for EVER, and it has been years since we have played.

We played tonight, and it was a blast, and it brought me back to the Summer before I went to college.

My, Shelbe Hoffman (Parr), Marcie Ruelbello, Jarred Brown, and Ryan Newswander used to play for hours and hours in the evenings. It sometimes got ugly, but it was so much fun.

We used to sit at the kitchen table, and just PLAY.

I had kinda forgotten how much fun that was, just to take a small amount of time and play a game. One that didn't involve characters from TV, or ladders, or counting cherries.

Thanks Mindy and Danny for reminding me of that!!


I got all confused by posting twice on Thursday to take care of the one I missed on Wednesday so I forgot to do it Friday.

Confused? Yep, so am I.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The King's Speech

As I sit here and watch this movie, I am moved to say this.

The King is a jerk. I realize that he is just "the way he is" and "how things were"


And now to sit here and watch him cry about not being a king, it just reinforces the idea that royalty just doesn't know how to be common.

But then to hear his wife, the "Queen Mum" be so wonderfully real, is refreshing, and quite heartening.

I'm excited to see how this ends.

So I didn't post last night

Cause I had a lovely surprise! Gerrod came home last night instead of on Friday. YAY!!

So this little update was brought to you late, but brought!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When it rains

It pours here

No seriously, poor Spencer is sick now.

But he got a shot in the butt of antibiotics, and he will get better!

He cracks me up though. He is all pitiful and whiney at home, and in the van to the DR, but we get there and he turns into Mr Happy go lucky, there isn't a thing wrong with me kid!

Trying to make me look like a liar!!!

Aren't kids just SOOOOO good at that?

I mean, when you tell your mom "Oh, he won't eat that"
and they do, three helpings of it.

Or you say to someone "You should hear how well she talks!"
And your precious little child just stares at you like you're crazy, and babbles incoherrently for ten minutes.

Or when you say "My son would NEVER run around with no clothes on outside"
Only to look up and see someone doing the no pants dance out your window.

Can you say, Been there, done that?

I would love to have someone else confirm this. I can't be the only one!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thought for the day

I had all these thoughts for today, I even just wrote one down, and screwed it up and hit the wrong button, so now, it's just gone.

But that's ok. I love my kids, I love my husband, I love my job as their mama and care giver. I love the rest of my family! I love my church, my pastor and his family, and our church family. I love God, and all the amazing things I have seen him do. I love the school I volunteer at and all the wonderful kids there.

And I love my bed. It's calling me I believe!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

So Nine years ago tonight

A little peanut, 5 weeks and 2 days early no less, was sleeping in my arms, after his first bath and such. He went back to the NICU not long after that where he stayed for a while, but that first night, he was all ours.

I can't believe it's been nine years. You are my little buddy getting all grown up. My mom said tonight "Just think in nine MORE years you'll be 18"

I almost cried (and refrained from telling her to shut up, I wanted to though!!)

Happy Happy Birthday Timothy Yeager! I love you so much! I can't believe I am lucky enough to be your mama!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I want to be on The Big Bang Theory

I can't explain it, I love this show.

I do not watch much TV. There are a few things that I watch, that aren't PBS, Disney Channel, or others for the kids.

I admit I am my age with an 80 year old woman stuck inside me, cause I LOVE LOVE

Murder, She Wrote

There are very few shows in the past 16 years that I have watched with regularity and anticipation. I quit watching TV shows, mostly cause I would get all wrapped up in one, and then they would cancel it

Off the top of my head, these are the only ones that I have followed regularly, and have NOT been cancelled on me

Crossing Jordan
Mystery Incorporated (Scooby Doo)
'Aloo 'Aloo
Mystery Science Theater 3000

There are lots of shows (and lots and lots) I have started out watching, and just stopped. I'm not so sure why, but I have.

ANYWAY I digress

I want a part on The Big Bang Theory

I really do. I don't care if I have to have Sheldon tell me off, I WANT TO BE ON THERE!!

The writing, the characters, the whole thing makes me laugh out loud at least once an episode, if not ten to twelve times. I mean it.

One night, when Sheldon Cooper was talking about building his own cat scanner, and putting his sister's gerbil in it, and after being able to see inside it for a few seconds before it burst into flames, he made this statement.

"around our house, we started to say You Didn't Have a Snowball's Chance in a Catscanner"

Honestly, I laughed so loud, I woke up the Spencer. I just couldn't STOP!

I didn't start out watching that show when it first came on, but I plan on getting all the Seasons and watching it from the beginning.

So here are to many many more utterings of "Bazinga"

PS I want a Bazinga T-shirt for my birthday!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I love movies

I am a huge movie fan. I will watch pretty much anything once. But not scary movies, like "jump out and get ya" ones. Psychological, yes. All guts, and no common sense (AKA "Let's run with our high heals on to get away from the killer") kind, no.

We were watching a movie tonight, that so many people just bash, and it's one that I really like.

The 5th Element.

I know, I'm weird, but I really do like that movie. I can't even explain why.

Then I got to thinking about some of my favorite movies. I will be the first to admit, I watch movies over and over and over. I can't tell you how many times I have watched the original Star Wars Trilogy (I've worn out one VHS of episode IV) I have lots of friends that can't watch a movie more than once. Which I totally get. But I digress...

I decided to post a list of my top 20 favorite movies in the EVER part of movies. So as far back as movies go, til, oh, six seconds ago, is what I will choose from.

I would love to hear about anyone else's favorites. And I will be the first to admit, my choices are a little, um, well, random.

1. Dead Poet's Society (and I can only watch it about once a year)
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
3. Nobody's Fool with Paul Newman
4. Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
5. The Mummy series
6. Fan Boys
7. Star Wars (any)
8. Indiana Jones (any)
9. The Goonies
10. Clue
11. Rocky Horror Picture Show
12. Hudson Hawk
13. The Wizard of Oz
14. Some Kind of Wonderful
15. Father Goose
16. The Muppets (any)
17. Fried Green Tomatoes
18. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
19. Groundhog Day
20. The Pirates of the Caribbean (any)

Like I said, it's pretty far out there.

Actually, I could easily go to 100, and more. I have learned so many things from movies

"Oh captain, my Captain"

"The Secret's in the Sauce"

"Don't Drive angry"

"We are the knights who say .... NI"

"I hope it's not a deposit bottle"

"would you like to swing on a Star?"

And Finally one I really treasure

"There's no place like home"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Promise is a Promise

AND I am back! Just FYI, I'm going a little God on ya. Not too much, but something that I was thinking about today. Hang in there, it won't hurt ya, promise!

I was thinking today about God. No, not the religion of God, or the Church of God, or anything like that. Just God in general. You know, the head honcho and all that.

Something our pastor said last week made me think about how people who are in more "mainstream" or "cultural" Christianity, will always talk about not knowing theology.

Well, wait. Let me back up.

Our pastor said

"Everyone is a theologist. Even an atheist is a theologist. They have a belief that there is no god. The question really is, are you a good theologist or a bad theologist"

Which made me think of the part in the Wizard of Oz, when Glinda asks Dorothy
"Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch"
And Dorothy answers
"Neither. I'm not a witch at all"

I know, it's random, but think about it.

He said a lot of more mainstream christian speakers when backed into a corner on their Theology will say "Well, I'm not a theologist"
So I did some research, and I found that to be very accurate. They seem to say whatever people want to hear, but when asked to back it up biblically will say they aren't a theologist.

So, I pondered it and it makes me realize that these people are Dorothy.

Now I am not bashing anyone in particular, nor am I saying that this is 100% accurate, but to ME, and what I've read, it really rings true.

So many people who are "religious" per se, are Dorothy.

They don't identify themselves with being theologists, they identify themselves as religious, and therefore, are not theologists.

Which goes completely against not only God and his word, but against the very deifinition of the word.

From the Miriam Webster dictionary:

Definition of THEOLOGY
: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world.

Isn't this what religion is? Isn't studying God what we should be doing? I mean, and I will readily admit this, I need to read more religious works, not just the bible, but related works. I think that it is important to gain this insight to understand what and who God really is. Not just to go to church every week and to occupy a space, but to find out what is going on and why it is going on, and how I can be a part of the solution, and not a part of the problem.

See where I am going with this?

I don't want to be Dorothy. (now don't get me wrong, for years and years, I have dreamed of singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow to sold out crowds) Dorothy sits on the fence, trying to not identify herself either way. I want to be the "Good Witch" in the Equation (Although, if you ask my High school principal, I was a "Bad Witch" in the real sense of a witch, but I digress) I want to be part of the group is working on figuring things out, trying to do some good, and make a difference, with the guidance of God, by knowing more about him, and what is important to him, rather than either standing still, or moving backwards.

So here's to being a good witch.

I already broke

my NY resolution to blog everday

Oh, and my foot.

totally on the same day.

I wish I had some sort of exciting story to tell, like:

~So I was sky Diving...

~... And then, the bear rushed me

~... So I had to kick the Door in

~While running a race against Lance Armstrong...

But, I get to tell people

~ Olvia blindsided me to hug me, I kicked out my foot to balance, kicked the wall, and then dropped one of our 50 pound (not really, but heavy) plates on my foot.

Good times.

I will actually blog for the day today!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I am bad at technology.

I need to fix my camera! these are OLD!

Someone asked me if I had pictures of Nana with the kids. I had to look pretty far back to find some, and most who know me, KNOW that I am not talented in ANY way shape or form, with technology. But I found the one with her and all of my kiddos at the Easter Egg Hunt her nursing home puts on (which is quite something, let me tell you)

The first one is all three kids before they went out to hunt. They were so excited.

The next one is Nana with all three of them. They were, in order

Spencer: Hyped up on candy

Olivia: tired

TY: worried about Spencer.

Nana loved it all.

The last is a picture that I do with TY every Memorial Day. This plaque (and flag pole) was erected in front of our county courthouse in 1970 with money my Nana received as Memorials from my Uncle Tim's death.

It started as a fluke really. We took baby TY up there on Memorial Day, his first one, when he was 4 months old, to look at all the flags.

Gerrod propped him up against the flag, next to the Plaque, which has my Uncle's name, and info on it.

I snapped a picture.

So, ok, why does that make it cool?

Because while most people know him as TY, his legal name is

Timothy Yeager

Named for my Uncle Tim, who I was never able to meet

And Chuck Yeager, the pilot, Gerrod's hero.

We have just called him TY.

So I have now 9 photos of him, from 4 months old, to this one when he was 8, and I plan to take one every year. Don't care if I have to beat him to get him there, I'll be taking it.

Another Nana funny, and I promise, I will move on to other things in my blogging, is that I thought for a very very long time, that her name was NANA. And I argued a really tough case when she tried to explain to me that she was my grandma (I still hold that she is my Nana) and that her real name is Edith. She still talks about that. I still remember that arguement.

It's funny what sticks with us, isn't it?

Tonight, she hasn't eaten in two days, she hasn't really drank anything for more. She has been moved out of bed once, apparently much to her dismay (and her fellow residents, as she cursed like a sailor and said awful things to the poor sweet aides, who just adore her) She sleeps almost all of the time now. I will see her again tomorrow, and I will try my very best to be brave.

But something about her, just makes me come undone.

Maybe, that's because, for so many years, she spent a lot of her time coming undone over me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Nana is dying

Ok, I've said it outloud (well, typed it) and i just have to start coping.
This amazing, sweet, kind, loving, and amazingly strong lady is at the end.

And I don't like it, not one bit.

Alzheimer's can suck it.

She has been ill the past week, with double pneumonia, etc. Nothing is making it better, in fact, some things have made it worse. But with Alzheimer's, who knows how long she had been ill.

She wanted to see me yesterday, so I went over.

And we said good bye.

Now, I might be wrong, she might pull out of this, I don't know what God's plans are.

But I wish I did, so I could prepare for it.

She held my hand, and talked to me, she's never lost ME, she always knows who I am. We talked about things we did together when I was younger. I spent A LOT of time with her growing up, she raised me. She taught me so many things, and she loved me, all the way.

This lady, and she is always a lady, is looking for her graceful exit.

She has endured so many things in her life, such amazingly hard and painful things.

Her husband walked out the door with another woman on Christmas day, when my mom was 16, and my uncle was 15. She was left, in the early 60's no less, to face the stigma of divorce, raise two children, keep a roof over their heads, and keep it all together.

My mom married my dad 2 years later, and she watched as my parents suffered loss after loss after loss (I could go on with this) of pregnancies. Then, my dad was drafted into the Vietnam war. Where he was shot, nearly killed, and paralyzed. At 24.

Three months later, my uncle, at age 20, left for Vietnam.
And he came home in a coffin. Wounded on his 21st birthday no less, lingered for days.
Killed in action

My mom said she didn't think she would live through that.

She survived all that, lived through it, to be there for my brother and I, well, mostly me, my brother didn't stay with her as I did. Didn't NEED her like I did.

And then she was swinddled by a man, for years, for her money. The money she had invested and squirrled away for my mom, my brother and I. In secret, trying to leave us something.
He hid her from us, and only when she was at her very worst, did he call up and give her "back"

And now, 2 years later, she tells me, it's my time to go. I'm ok with it, she says. I'm worried about your mom though.

She says "I've got people to see" and looks up.

I know she'll be in heaven. And that makes me feel better.

But, I'm just not ready. And it doesn't really make any sense, if you think about it.

She has no idea if you have been there from one day to the next. Or really anything else. She is confused, combative, and becoming unladylike, which would just KILL MY Nana to know.

So, in reality, she isn't my Nana. She is, but she isn't.

I just kept hoping she'd pop out of this, I know, how stupid. That she would wake up or something, and be able to talk to me about all the things that we used to talk about. That she would remember that I had been there. That she felt BETTER. But, it didn't happen, it isn't going to happen, and that is a big part of why I am sad.

We planned her funeral tonight. At 93, she doesn't have many left that would attend. But that's ok. Those of us that are here, will celebrate her life.

But I have learned something in this evening, of talking over plans with my mom.

Imay not be her blood (I'm adopted) but I am HER.

I am opinionated.

I am caring, loving, and kind.

I am passionate, helpful, and bull headed.

I don't give up.

Which makes me her. and I am so thankful for that.

When I left her room last night, she said, clear as day, as she had been muttering and mumbling most of the time

"Mandi, have FUN with your kids"

I know she didn't get to do that much, thatshe didn't get to enjoy them as much as she would have liked.

and I will. Because she taught me how.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome Welcome 2012!

I am so happy you are here! The past year, well, few years, have not been easy on us. Most people who read this will know all about the things that have happened, such as my MIL's passing away from a brief, difficult battle with cancer at age 55, my horrific car accident, that almost cost me my life, and all of my struggles from that. Olivia's diagnosis with a skull malformation, her surgery, her dr appointments, and then her eyesight loss, and her surgery to correct it. TY's school struggles, Spencer's health, my dad's 6 week hospitalization, my brother and SIL's devestating fire. These are just the big things, and if I sit down and think about it, there are probably more.

But I'm not gonna.

I am going to think about the things that have gone RIGHT over the past few years, and remember how those things have made me and changed me. What it has all done for me, is made me a stronger person. Made me remember who God is, and what he has done for me, and how really, I am very blessed.

So today, as a new year begins, I will put my resolutions for the year out there for everyone to read, and then put out my hopes for the year. Then I will finish up with my dreams. To me they are two seperate things. A Resolution for me is a personal one, one that I can work on, and one that I can change. My hopes are things that I can hope for, that I can work toward, but ultimately are not full up to me. My dreams, well, they are just that. Everyone needs to have Dreams!!

Ok, here are my resolutions:

1. Go to the Y at least 2 days a week, and walk/workout, and one of those days, preferrably two, take Spencer swimming.

2. Lose more weight. My goal is to be down another 25 pounds this year.

3. Read some more. I've been in a reading funk. Which isn't like me. Gerrod bought me The Girl with the Dragon tatto series, and I need to start them. I've wanted them forever!!

4. Do Devotionals each day with Gerrod. We've bought a book, so that is our goal.

5. Keep my house cleaner. I am reading the book "The House that Cleans Itself" and I am going to start implementing it.

6. Continue my work with L'Abris Academy, and our church, to get our library up and running.

7. To plan and execute both Slammer Crop Retreats with little or no freaking out. That I can relax and enjoy them wholeheartedly!

Here are my HOPES for 2012

1. To always remember what is important, and what should come first.

2. To have a date night with Gerrod once a month. I HOPE this, cause it depends on so many things that are not always in my total control.

3. That all three of my kids continue to enjoy and love school. That they always do their best, and that they do what is right all of the time.

4. That Church and our dedication to God and his people do some good for others.

5. That we as a family continue to volunteer our time in our community with all that we have in us.

6. That Gerrod find happiness and peace in his job. The man deserves it, he works soooo hard for all of us!!

7. That all of our families and friends find happiness in the new year, and always.

My Dreams

1. DisneyLAND for Spencer's GOLDEN 5th Birthday this year. Not only is the 5th of December HIS birthday, it's also Walt Disney's birthday! How cool would it be in the place that started it all, not only on YOUR 5th birthday, but on the birthday of the man who created the Magic?

2. Opening a business. We're working on it. It's getting there.

3. That my office for the library is up and running ASAP so I can get it ready for a Summer reading program.

4. To Sponsor a child

5. To be able to give more to local charities, be it time, money, resources.

6. Find out more about my birth parents. To know more about where I BIOLOGICALLY came from.

7. To be more peaceful and patient with the things that come my way.

Now, I move on to a new day and a new year. I will be getting ready for church, and spending that time thinking about the things that I have posted.

Again, Happy New Year to all!!